A typhoon bearing down on Kyushu failed to help the locals as Oita Trinita and Avispa Fukuoka went down to Gamba Osaka and Yokohama F. Marinos respectively. The tricky conditions in Oita failed to halt Gamba striker Ryuji Bando’s recent good form, as he struck twice before half-time to lead Gamba to a 2-0 win.
Urawa Reds kept hot on the heels of the leaders with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Substitute midfielder Nobuhisa Yamada scored an 86th winner that pulled Urawa two points clear of Kawasaki Frontale, who lost 4-3 at home to Jubilo Iwata.
One of the matches of the round took place at the National Stadium in Tokyo, where fourth-placed Shimizu S-Pulse took on fifth-placed rivals Kashima Antlers. It was the Antlers who came out on top in this one, as wonder strikes from Fernando and Takuya Nozawa gave Kashima a two goal advantage. Takuma Edamura pulled one Data Sgp back for S-Pulse but they must be rueing their decision to play the match away from Nihondaira Stadium, which has been a fortress for the Wingheads in recent weeks.
At the foot of the table, Kyoto Purple Sanga occupy the promotion/relegation place despite scoring a 1-0 victory over big-spending FC Tokyo. Kyoto remain in 16th on the ladder, five points behind Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Cerezo’s 3-2 win at home to JEF United failed to improve their league position and they look unlikely to retain their J1 status.
Vissel Kobe and Kashiwa Reysol remain deadlocked at the top of J-League Division Two, as both clubs posted victories at the weekend. Yokohama FC remain one point behind the two former J1 teams, after defeating Mito Hollyhock away from home.
Controversy at Kanagawa derby
There was controversy following the …